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From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Bio-physical interactions can shape populations.


Thursday July 15th 10:00 am (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/88571328486 Password: 089763
Jodie Schlaefer
Jodie Schlaefer

Abstract: Bio-physical interactions can shape the structures and dynamics of populations. Open populations are well mixed over hundreds to thousands of kilometres. In contrast, closed populations exchange few individuals through immigration and emigration. The closure of marine and estuarine populations at surprisingly small spatial scales is increasingly being reported. Interactive biological and physical mechanisms determine the spatial scales of population closure. Examples of biological mechanisms include animal behaviour and pelagic larval duration, while physical mechanisms include large and small-scale currents and tides. Multidisciplinary studies are often required to determine the causal mechanisms of population closure. In this presentation I will discuss the results of multidisciplinary studies that have utilized laboratory and field experiments, and biophysical modelling to elucidate the spatial scales separating closed populations, and to identify the factors isolating the populations. I will largely focus on marine and estuarine jellyfish populations.

Biography: Dr Jodie Schlaefer is a postdoctoral research associate at the Research Hub for Coral Reef Ecosystem Functions at James Cook University (JCU). She completed her PhD at JCU (2015 – 2020) while also working as a biophysical modeller for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (2018 – 2020). Her research has focused on how populations of marine and estuarine taxa are shaped by a combination of the biological traits and behaviours of organisms, and the physical properties of their environments. Recently, she has moved to studying how currents mediate benthic-pelagic coupling on coral reefs.


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